Training News from BWSR

Train Tracks NEW

In this issue:


Hold the Date for the 2020 BWSR Academy!


The 2020 BWSR Academy will be held October 27-29, 2020, at Breezy Point Conference Center in Breezy Point, Minnesota. Additional information will be posted on the BWSR website Training Page Click Here late summer.

Two-Minute Training

Two Minute Training Getting on the Same Page

Working Together: Getting on the Same Page


We often find ourselves as part of a work group. The tendency may be to jump right in and start doing. But if this us your approach, you’ve missed an important first step of being part of a work group: getting on the same page.  By taking the time on the front end to get on the same page, you can avoid misunderstandings or broken trust down the road.  This important first step is critical to creating a positive work environment and relationships. There are three areas to consider to get on the same page:


  • Shared understanding of key components: Reach understanding before starting the work!
    • Regional: what areas are considered to be regional?
    • Quality: Different professionals may have different ideas of what constitutes quality.
  • Different words can have different meanings to different people. Some examples are:
  • Intentional Action: Agree on what you are working towards and how you will get there.
    • Vision/mission
    • Goals and objectives
    • Strategies
    • Outcomes/impacts
  • Team Culture and Environment
    • Who leads when (base this on skills needed for various roles and tasks)
    • Decision-making process
    • Conflict management (how will conflicts or disagreements be respectfully worked through?)


Don’t turn the work “page” to action until spending time on the three areas mentioned above!!

Training Success Story

Tapping into Peer Knowledge

Tapping into Peer Knowledge


In January 2020, BWSR and MPCA partnered to facilitate two events for LGUs to come together in Bemidji and Mankato. The purpose of the events was to provide an opportunity for networking and co-learning from each other on the topic of public participation in natural resource and conservation efforts. Barbara Radke (BWSR), Mike Kennedy (MPCA north region), and Joanne Boetcher (MPCA southern region) planned and facilitated the events.


Attendees said in post-training evaluations that one of the best parts of these events was having the opportunity to meet new people, network, and share ideas. As one attendee shared in their evaluation: “Great event. I enjoyed it and got a lot more out of it than I originally intended.” 


Tapping into Peer Knowledge

Participants said they enjoyed the structure and design of the event, which provided an opportunity to learn about experiences of their peers when “doing” public participation. Both the morning and afternoon events used a small group discussion format. This was mentioned as a “plus” by attendees. One evaluation comment was “Liked the opportunity for discussion in small groups.”  The morning was focused on networking, while the afternoon provided opportunities for conversations on topics, identified by attendees, related to aspects of public participation. As one participant shared, they valued “Hearing of all the different challenges as well as success stories from all the people in different organizations.”


In the end, it was the willingness of those in attendance to “lean in” by asking questions and sharing what they know so that others could learn that contributed to the success of this event. Thank you to all who attended!

Technical Training & Certification Program Updates

Technical Training & Certification Program Logo

2020 Training Schedule


In October the Technical Training Team partners from BWSR and NRCS met to review results from the 2019 Individual Development Plans. As they poured through the more than 1,600 training requests the partnership determined statewide priorities and developed a training calendar.


Some of these trainings have already taken place and others have been scheduled. The training sessions planned for this spring and summer are tentative and subject to change. While it is impossible to hold training in everyone’s back yard, the sessions scheduled in four locations are intended to provide statewide coverage. As details come together, more information on training dates and locations can be found online:


Completed 2020 Trainings Upcoming Winter 2020 Trainings
  • SM-1 in Montevideo
  • WASCOB in Marshall, Farmington
  • Introductory Nutrient Management in Oronoco, Morris, Lamberton, Detroit Lakes, Mora
  • Grassed Waterway Design in Owatonna
  • Grade Stabilization in the Northwest, Southeast
  • Grassed Waterway Design in Jordan, Marshall
Planned for Spring Planned for Summer
  • Nutrient Management Level 1 in Four Locations
  • Filter Strip in Oronoco and Redwood Falls
  • Soil Erosion 101 in Four Locations
  • Nutrient Management Level 2 in Four Locations
  • Pasture Condition Scoring in Four Locations
  • Cultural Resources in Houston, Baxter
  • Soil Health
  • Basic Construction Inspection in the Southwest or Central
  • Agro-Forestry Institute
  • State Grazing Course
  • Wildlife Habitat in Four Locations
  • Computer Assisted Drawing (CAD)
  • Plant ID
  • Irrigation Water Management at the Becker Research Station
  • Soil Health Bus Tour
  • Engineering Boot Camp
  • Pollinator Habitat in Three Locations
  • SM-2
  • Forestry 101
  • Wetland Restoration


Formal training is one way to gain knowledge and begin to develop your technical skills. Starting in March the TTCP Trainers will be rolling interactive online sessions. Check back next month for information about this new training format!

Upcoming Training Events

BWSR Training














Technical Training & Certification Program Events






Related Partner Training Opportunities





  • Mar 2-3   Maintainer, U of MN, Brainerd
  • Through March 3 Nitrogen Smart, UMN Extension, Multiple Locations
  • March 7 Watershed and Climate Summit, Bush Lake Chapter Izaak Walton League, Normandale Community College, Bloomington
  • March 10, Irrigation Clinic, Pope, Stearns, Swift, Kandiyohi, and Douglas Soil and Water Conservation Districts and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Minnewaska House, Glenwood. For more information contact Holly Kovarik at Pope SWCD at 320-634-5327.



Learn on Your Own

Not all training takes place in a classroom. Check out the links below to learn at a time and place of your choosing.

  • Basic Grassed Waterway Trainings:  A 3 part video series covering the practice standard contens and design concepts has been added to BWSR's Online Learning Library.
  • Cattle Grazing on Cover Crops in Northern Minnesota:  Producer Thor Didrikson discusses the benefits and challenges of grazing their large herd of cattle on cover crops on their farm in Roseau County, Minnesota. Videography by Dan Balluff. Link to video
  • Profiles in Partnering - Great Plains:  Public-Private Partnerships in Kansas and South Dakota strive to sustain rural landscapes for people and nature. Featuring ranchers Bill Sproul (KS) and Jim Faulstich (SD) along with their conservation partners in their own words. Link to video
  • Prairie Pod: MN DNR staff are conducting a podcast where they talk informally about various prairie-related topics. Link to podcast
  • The Pasture Project: A movement of farmers and farmland supporters helping land managers reintegrate livestock rotation in the heart of Upper Midwest farming. Webinar recordings link (scroll down past events to get to the webinars)

We’ve also put together a searchable library of recorded modules, webinars, videos and other resources to help our staff and partners find professional development information on a variety of topics. You can visit BWSR's Online Learning page to find web-based technical training resources sorted by category.

Program Contacts

Barbara Radke   Jon Sellnow
Training Coordinator   Technical Training and Certification Program Coordinator
(507) 844-0442   (218) 340-3521